author: alexa lawlor | staff writer
The new album, Blessed Are Those, reviewed track-by-track.
Ontario-born Braden Barrie, known as SayWeCanFly, released his much-anticipated sophomore album on Nov. 4. Barrie’s melodic vocals are haunting, but also soothing, and the lyrics are both profound and relatable. When listening to Blessed Are Those, you can hear the growth, both musically and lyrically, from Between the Roses, Barrie’s first full-length album. In Blessed Are Those, each song is special in its own way, and contributes to the overall feel of the album, so I have decided to divide and go through the album track by track. I enjoy every single one of these songs, and I think together, the whole album takes you on an emotional ride that is signature to a SayWeCanFly album or EP.
“There Are No Flowers in Heaven (Foreword)” is a haunting introduction to the album, with a chilling spoken/sung poem resonating in the background of the piano and violins. The second track continues with a similar vibe, however, “Blessed Are Those” is a little bit on the lighter side, musically. Lyrically, the song is equally as profound and chilling as the introduction. “I Didn’t Know” is more light and hopeful, compared to the first two songs. It is really a beautiful love song, emphasizing how two hearts can be connected.
“They’re Calling for Rain” is one of my personal favourites on the album, but that is probably just because I connect with it a lot. I like to interpret it in the way of wishing you could just have one more day with a person you love, but lost. It has a nostalgic feel that definitely takes you on an emotional ride. “Most of the Time” is one of the more upbeat songs, although when you listen closely, the lyrics are not as cheerful as the music is. The contrast is what truly makes the song interesting. “The Space Between our Eyes” was the first song released from the album, so it will always have a special place in my heart. To me, it is a mix of loss and hope, with both emotions trying to overcome the other.
Next is another where the lyrics are quite a bit darker than the overall mood of the song. “Left the Light On” is bright and fun musically, but the lyrics say something totally different, and I really enjoy the contrast in the song. “Sweetest Heart” honestly breaks my heart. It reminds me of wanting the best for someone, even if that involves you not being in their life. “The Chase” is another one of my favourites, because everything just comes together so well. I really like that an alternate version of “Blessed Are Those” was included in the album, because even though it is the same song, the two versions are actually quite different. This version is a bit longer, and in my opinion, really runs with the haunting vibe, even more so than the first version.
To me, the closing song to an album is always one of the most important things that makes or breaks an album as a whole. SayWeCanFly has never let me down in that respect. “Between the Roses,” from the album of the same name, will always be one of my favourite songs because it is truly beautiful, and the lyrics mean a lot to me. On Blessed Are Those, “When We Die” is no different. It fits everything I look for in a strong ending.
Overall, Blessed Are Those is a great album. You can tell how hard Braden Barrie has worked on it, making sure all the songs are special and different, but also all fit together as a whole. Although the album is haunting and takes you through a range of emotions, in the end, it leaves you feeling hopeful, which is nice sometimes, especially in a world that can be so dark. SayWeCanFly has yet to let me down, and I am really hoping it will always stay that way.